Heart of Ecuador: Culture, Volcanoes and Devil's Nose | Yampu Tours

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Heart of Ecuador: Culture, Volcanoes and Devil’s Nose

PRIVATE TOUR - 8 DAY SAMPLE ITINERARY

FROM £$ 3792

Private Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy some delicious local specialty biscuits or "Bizcochos", while in Cayambe
  • Visit the church and monastery of San Francisco, the oldest church in all of Ecuador
  • Witness collections of artwork including paintings, sculpture and furniture dating back to the 16th century
  • Take a trip to the middle of the world, and see the monument that honors the correct location of the equator
  • Enjoy the beautiful sights of Cotopaxi National Park’s snow-capped volcano
  • Stroll through the brightly colored and diverse market of Otavalo, South America’s largest indigenous market
  • See the unique, handmade leather goods, famous in the town of Cotocachi
  • Enjoy tastes of the local juice of sugar cane and melcochas while visiting the Banos waterfalls
  • Visit a local Indian Market on the way to Riobamba
  • Learn about one of the greatest rail engineering feats in the world whilst marveling at spectacular Andean scenery
  • Tour the city of Cuenca to admire the new and old Cathedrals, the City Museum, the beautiful Park of the Flowers, and the Canari-Incas of all saints’ ruins
  • Enjoy lunch at one of the oldest haciendas, Hacienda La Cienega
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

Heart of Ecuador: Culture, Volcanoes and Devil’s Nose trip will take you through the highlands of Ecuador. We will visit Quito, the colonial capital city; tour the larges handicrafts market at Otavalo; tour Cotopaxi National Park surrounding a beautiful snow capped volcano; take the famous Devil’s Nose train from the small village of Alausí; and visit Cuenca, thought of by many as the most attractive city in Ecuador.

Inclusions
Price includes return, flight from Cuenca to Quito, all transfers, day excursion in Quito, double or single-occupancy accommodation with private facilities, bilingual guiding services, meals as indicated, and all tours and entrance fees. Price does not include beverages, personal expenses or gratuities. Local airport departure taxes that are payable in the country of destination are not included. Airfare taxes and security fees that can be paid at time of ticketing are included in the cost.

*Saquisili Market
Saquisili is one of the most colorful and complete Indian markets in Ecuador. The whole town is a market on Thursdays and one can walk around and shop for handicrafts of all kinds. Especially attractive is the animal market.

*Latacunga Market
The small city of Latacunga celebrates its market day in five plazas. This is a very colorful spectacle and a photographer’s delight.

*The Devil’s Nose train does not operate on Mondays.
Best Time to Travel
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Best Good Consult

Pricing Details
  3-Star 4-Star 5-Star Luxury
Double £$3398 £$3792 £$3990 £$4719
Single £$5947 £$6214 £$7020 £$8681

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary

Day
1

Quito

Upon arrival in Quito, transfer to the hotel.

Upon arrival in Quito, transfer to the hotel.

Day
2

Full Day Colonial Quito Tour & The Equator

The tour begins today with a visit to Independence Square where the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral and El Sagrario Church are located. Also visit the Church of La Compania (1605), and enjoy a brief visit to the church and monastery of San Francisco (1535). The oldest Ecuadorian church, the collection of artwork here includes paintings, sculpture and furniture dating back to the 16th century. Leaving the churches, visit the recently restored 24 De Mayo Boulevard, named after the battle which sealed Ecuador´s independence. Also visit La Ronda Street in Old Quito. Lined with colonial houses and inspired by painters, poets, musicians and historians, this visit gives a taste of traditional Quito. The tour will then continue 30-minutes outside of Quito, towards the Middle of the World. Visit the main Monument honoring the correct location of the equator and visit the Ethnographic Museum, located inside the Equator Monument. Or, visit the Inti Nan Museum, a scientific and cultural Museum located in the exact place where the Equator Line crosses. ...read less

Quito_Monastery_of_San_Francisco_Ecuador
Day
3

Otavalo

The Indian markets in Ecuador are well known for their color and diversity. Otavalo is the most famous of the markets. It operates every day but main market day is on Saturdays. Driving north from Quito, the trip begins in Cayambe, where one is invited to savor the local specialty biscuits or "Bizcochos" before arriving in the province of Imbabura, also known as "the Province of Lakes". While approaching Otavalo, one will have stunning views of the San Pablo Lake with the high peak of Imbabura Volcano behind it. Next is the town of Otavalo, home of the largest indigenous market of its kind in South America. After lunch, head for Cotocachi, a town renowned for its handmade leather goods. If time allows, also visit Cuicocha, an ancient, eroded volcanic crater famous for the deep lake found within it. Lunch is included. Note: One may also spend one night at a hacienda near Quito. Please consult with a Yampu travel consultant. ...read less

Quito_Ecuador_Bags
Day
4

Quito - Cotopaxi NP – Banos

This morning, be greeted at the hotel in Quito and transferred privately to the Cotopaxi National Park. Here, admire the beautiful snow-capped volcano and will have an optional hike. Later, head to the Hacienda La Cienega, one of the oldest haciendas dating back to the seventeenth century, for a tasty lunch (included). After lunch, stop at Saquisili Market (if Thursday), or Latacunga Market (if Tuesday or Saturday). Transfer to Banos for an evening of leisure. Lunch included.

This morning, be greeted at the hotel in Quito and transferred privately to the Cotopaxi National Park. Here, admire the beautiful snow-capped volcano and will have an optional hike. Later, head to the Hacienda La Cienega, one of the oldest haciendas dating back to the seventeenth century, for a tasty lunch (included). After lunch, stop at Saquisili Market (if Thursday), or Latacunga Market (if Tuesday or Saturday). Transfer to Banos for an evening of leisure. Lunch included.

Quito_Cotopaxi_Closeup_Ecuador
Day
5

Banos – Riobamba

After breakfast, enjoy a visit to the Banos waterfalls including Manto de la Novia, Pailon del Diablo and Ines Maria. During the visit, enjoy tastes of the local juice of sugar cane and melcochas. In the afternoon, transfer to Riobamba, visiting a local Indian Market en route (if open on that day).

After breakfast, enjoy a visit to the Banos waterfalls including Manto de la Novia, Pailon del Diablo and Ines Maria. During the visit, enjoy tastes of the local juice of sugar cane and melcochas. In the afternoon, transfer to Riobamba, visiting a local Indian Market en route (if open on that day).

Riobamba_La_Balbanera_Church_Ecuador
Day
6

Alausi - Devil's Nose Train

Very early in the morning, after breakfast, we drive to the town of Alausi for a train ride to the famous “Devil’s Nose”. Due to the land topography, this portion is a masterpiece of railway engineering, commonly named “the most difficult railway in the world”. The descent is not an ordinary one, we start the ride at an altitude of 2,346 meters and go down to 1,860 meters in just 30 minutes, in a zigzag-carved railway tracks. Afterward the guide and driver will bring you to Tolte Community to enjoy the following activities.


  • You will be able to descend 330 stairs up to a view point, perfect place to appreciate the zig-zag from Devil’s Nose and take fabulous pictures.

  • You may choose between horse-back riding or biking tour in the surrounding areas of the local community to enjoy the landscape and see in a deeper way the local lifestyle (around 25 to 30 minutes)

  • Enjoy a lunch prepared by the local community (gourmet meals). There will be a Dancing show during lunch time.

  • Passengers will receive a key ring from devil’s nose train ride as souvenir

  • Passengers are able to take pictures with the llama and local people without additional cost.

  • Passengers are able to visit an organic local farm to see the where the community develops agro-tourism and produce the vegetables that will be served at the restaurant during the meals.


Return and travel south to Cuenca, visiting the ruins of the Inca fortress Ingapirca en route. This evening, overnight in Cuenca. Box lunch included.
Please note this train does not operate on Mondays.
...read less

Cuenca_Cajas_National_Park_Ecuador
Day
7

Cuenca

This morning, enjoy a city tour of Cuenca visiting the Calderon Park, the new and old Cathedral, the Park of the Flowers, the City Museum and modern art, the Canari-Incas of all saints’ ruins, Canon of the Tomebamba and Turi River. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport to take the flight to Quito (one may also choose to spend an extra night in Cuenca, please consult with a Yampu travel consultant).

This morning, enjoy a city tour of Cuenca visiting the Calderon Park, the new and old Cathedral, the Park of the Flowers, the City Museum and modern art, the Canari-Incas of all saints’ ruins, Canon of the Tomebamba and Turi River. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport to take the flight to Quito (one may also choose to spend an extra night in Cuenca, please consult with a Yampu travel consultant).

Cuenca_Cathedral_Ecuador
Day
8

Flight Home

Transfer to the airport to take the flight back home or continue with a Galapagos cruise or excursion of one’s choice.

Transfer to the airport to take the flight back home or continue with a Galapagos cruise or excursion of one’s choice.

Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador

Banos, Tungurahua, Ecuador

Riobamba, Chimborazo, Ecuador

Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

Places You'll See

  • Quito-Ecuador-Hillside

    Quito

    The magnificent city of Quito is bursting with cultural, historical, and artistic character. Along with its scenic parks such as Parque La Carolina, visit its enchanting museums like the Museo del Banco Central. Take a trip to the Mitad del Mundo, or the “Middle of the World”, where the first measurements to prove the earth was round, were taken.

  • Banos-Waterfall-Ecuador

    Banos

    On the foothills of the Tungurahua Volcano, lies the city of Banos. One of the final cities before reaching the depths of the Amazon, Banos offers many exciting activities to take in. Enjoy the picturesque waterfalls, such as the famous Cascada de La Virgin, or take on nature with jungle tours, rafting, bungee jumping and so much more at the capital of adventure!

  • Cuenca-Cathedral-Ecuador

    Cuenca

    Well known for its stunning and historical architecture, Cuenca is a City that holds a great amount of history. Visit the historic center of the city that has been named a UNESCO Heritage Site with its historical structures. Take a tour of The Ruins of the former Inca Empire, Ingapirca, and learn of these ancient people.

  • Riobamba-Mission-Ecuador

    Riobamba

    One of the stops along the Pan-American-Highway is the scenic Riobamba. One cannot miss the views of the surrounding mountain ranges including Ecuador’s highest mountain, Chimborazo. Visit the local art museums and its neoclassical basilica, Parque La Libertad, to absorb the areas culture and history.

Hotel Options

3 Star Properties

Quito : Stuble Suites

Quito : Vieja Cuba Boutique

Quito : NU House

Banos : Volcano Hotel

Banos : La Posada del Arte

Banos : Hacienda Leito (Patate)

Cuenca : El Dorado

Cuenca : Hotel Victoria

4 Star Properties

Quito : Casa Aliso

Quito : La Casona de la Ronda

Banos : Sangay Spa Hotel

Riobamba : Hacienda Abraspungo

Riobamba : Mansion Santa Isabella

Cuenca : San Juan Hotel

5 Star Properties

Quito : Swissotel

Quito : Le Parc Hotel

Quito : JW Marriott in Quito

Banos : Samari Spa & Resort

Cuenca : Santa Lucia

Luxury Properties

Quito : Plaza Grande

Quito : Casa Gangotena

Cuenca : Mansion Alcazar

Testimonials

Jon L

Traveled December, 2014

Everything was great!

Everything was great! Just exactly as you advertised, and we had an awesome time. We will definitely keep Yampu in mind for any future trips we might be making.

Traveled To


Repeat Client

Traveled November, 2012

We know who we will call when we are ready to go again

Our first trip with Yampu Tours was in 2003 when it was Kon-Tiki Tours and Travel. We contacted Jose Irauzqui and his team to create a special trip for us to Chile. (We travel by ourselves on a customized tour with a driver and an English speaking guide). We told Jose what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go, our time limits and anything else he needed to know and he and his staff went from there creating a wonderful trip with lots of memories for us. We were so impressed by the service we got that when we were ready to return to south-america to visit Peru in 2006, we immediately contacted Jose, who again came through for us. Most of our trips are ecological in nature. My daughter is an exotic animal veterinarian and we travel to see animals in the wild. All of our trips through Yampu have comprised an ecological component, which we have built our vacations around. Many of the ecological lodges we stayed in were small in size, so we start making our plans at the beginning of the year for a trip in the fall because of availability. We traveled with Yampu to southern Brazil in 2004, Peru in 2006, Argentina in 2007 and again to Peru in 2012. Some parts of our trips were done with groups, but on the most part, we had private customized tours. Yampu has a terrific network system of tour providers in all these countries and through five trips we have only had one complaint, which Yampu took care of when we returned. The problem was with a tour guide and therefore was beyond Yampu’s control until we got back as we did not complain at the time to the local agency. Next time we will handle it locally as Yampu provides you with a list of people to contact along the way. The number of fabulous, well-informed tour guides far outweighed that one incident. The above trips are just the ones my husband and I have gone on with our daughter through Yampu. My daughter has used Yampu for many trips throughout Central and south-america with her friends. We just returned from our second trip to Peru in November and she is off to Ecuador in January. We still have places in south-america we wish to visit, it is a big continent and very diverse. We know who we will call when we are ready to go again. We were very fortunate to find Yampu. And now Yampu has expanded to other parts of the world!

Linda

Traveled May, 2014

Yampu Tours planned an amazing trip for our inaugural South America experience

Yampu Tours planned an amazing trip for our inaugural south-america experience. We wanted to cover 6 countries in one month so it would have been a nightmare if we had to plan it ourselves from Asia. Karolina from Yampu put together a great itinerary and gave great advice. She was also extremely patient when we wanted to change things around. All the planning happened over email super efficient. We were very pleased with the accommodation choices, activities planned and the quality of the local tour guides. Thanks again!

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